.25 / 30-06 Experimental?


#1

I’ve got this rd and I bought it as a .25/30-06 experimental, it has written on it Scranton p.273. I don’t have the first editions of those books only the revised editions and this rd isn’t in them. In the revised edition of Vol 1 their is a similar rd on page 266, could the rd I have be a variation of that ?

Case length: 62.28mm / 2.452"
Overall length: 76.39mm / 3.007"
Bullet dia: 6.47 / .254"
Neck dia: 7.26mm / .286"
Rim dia: 11.94mm / .470"

Headstamp is F A 33

The bullet has a knurled canneluer just above the case neck, the bullet has a flat, lead tip.

I guess I’ve bought either a fairly cheap experimental or an expensive Wildcat ;-)


#2

Armourer

Look at my article in JOURNAL #461, page 40. I think you have yourself one of the 25 cal wildcats that I discussed. I will pull out all of mine and check the measurements against yours. I will need shoulder angle and diameter as well as body length from base to shoulder.

Ray


#3

I do not believe this is the cartridge shown on page 273 of HWS Volume I. There is a round with a similar flat tip, but it mentions nothing about the round have a soft nose, and the bullet is described as tinned, not GM as is yours. Further, the headstamp on the round in the book is “F A 4 17.” There is a knurled cannelure on the bullet, but it is located just under halfway down the bullet from the meplat - it is not just above the case mouth.

Between the measurements you give and those for the round I described abouve, from HWS, the only ones that fit are the rim at .470" and the neck, which he reports close to your figure, at .285".

It looks to me like whoever made the notes on your cartridge saw the one in HWS Volume I page 273, but paid no attention at all to the actual details of the cartridge pictured there.

It seems like all of the .25 and .256 experiments of that period were by the early 1930s and that the highest date reported in HWS Volume I, on page 276, is “31.”

I would suspect, but am not sure, that you have an unidentified wildcat that someone along the way thought at a quick glance was the HWS cartridge. I don’t know enough about these rounds to be sure, though.


#4

Simon

I’m guessing a 22 - 23 degree shoulder angle and 1.975" base to shoulder. That would make it one of the 25 Hi Power wildcats. I have one nearly identical with the same hs but with a pointed sp bullet. Being a wildcat, I would not expect the dimensions to agree with mine. Unforunately, most of the 25 Hi Power wildcats have not been cataloged so it’s impossible to say what name was attached to yours.

Maybe not a valuable experimental but an unusual and not too common wildcat.

Ray


#5

Sorry to say that I agree with the wildcat theory, although not even that really. If you look at the cartridge shoulder you will see there is a bulge from the case body to just before the shoulder - this implies the cartridge was necked without the support of a die. A die would have kept the shoulder in without bulging. So, in my opinion you don’t even have a wildcat as that would have been formed in a die or a chamber, just a poor attempt at a fake. I have also bought a couple of fakes in my collecting career, it is just part of the school of hard knocks.


#6

Will

That is certainly a reasonable assumption. OTOH, I concluded that the shoulder had not been fire-formed as yet. I’m a gullible sort and have often been scammed because I tend to believe the best in people.

If the cartridge was intended as a fake it would seem to me that a proper bullet would be a top priority. Of course, it’s also possible to say that this was a super rare variation because of the bullet. ;)

The notation on the case does raise questions. But if the owner was not aware of the various 25 wildcats of that period and saw the cartridge in HWS it follows that he simply mis-identified it.

None of us will ever know for sure.

Ray


#7

Thanks for all the info gentlemen.

The shoulder angle is approx 22 degrees the length from base to start of the shoulder is 1.894".

I’m sure now it is not an experimental rd and I’d rather it be a wildcat than a fake but it could be.


#8

Armourer

I badly over-estimated the body length. At 1.894" the cartridge very closly matches the original 25-50-117, which eventually became the 25 Niedner and, later, the 25-06.

See cartridge “C” in my article. And the photo below.

While not as exotic as an experimental, the 25-50-117 is a very rare wildcat and not seen in many collections. I certainly would not discount it. If you feel the urge to toss it, you know my address. I have only a couple of them in my own collection.

Ray


#9

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]Armourer

I badly over-estimated the body length. At 1.894" the cartridge very closly matches the original 25-50-117, which eventually became the 25 Niedner and, later, the 25-06.

See cartridge “C” in my article. And the photo below.

While not as exotic as an experimental, the 25-50-117 is a very rare wildcat and not seen in many collections. I certainly would not discount it. If you feel the urge to toss it, you know my address. I have only a couple of them in my own collection.

Ray

[/quote]

Thanks Ray, that’ll work for me :)


#10

For the information of others who may actually be reading about a wildcat, the 25-50-117 was the basis for the 256 Newton. Newton was looking for a larger diameter bullet for his cartridge since he envisioned it as a big game cartridge while Niedner was a varmint guy.

And no, I did not mis-type. The Newton was/is a 6.5mm cartridge.

Ray


#11

Ray I agree with you about the bullet. It is just wrong, it looks like a .30-30 except for the fact that its the wrong calibre but the flat nose is very “lever action” which is odd because I can only think of one lever action .25 and that is obsolete now but would probably have been around then.

It just strikes me as an strange bullet to use for a wildcat load with a MV of close to 3,500 fps (depending on weight). Two reasons come to mind, first poor aerodynamics which would adversly affect velocity and possibly accuracy.

Second, with that open nose the core/ jacket is very likely to separate in flight. Apart from being pressed togeather, in a “simple” bullet the core and jacket are not attached to each other. Thats why there is such a thriving market in speciality bullets. I would have expected something better in the choice of bullet.


#12

Vince - If we are talking about the cartridge that ray indicated was the “.25-50-117,” then I don’t seen the flat nose bullet being odd or wrong at all. The name of the cartridge fits right in with the fact that the .25-35 Winchester cartridge, for the Model 1894 Winchester LA rifles and carbines, had a flat-nose 117 grain bullet. It was the standard load. I got a little lost on this discussion, probably from scanning it too quickly, so forgive me if that is not the cartridge you were talking about.


#13

Vince

The flat nose bullet shown on Armourer’s cartridge is typical of many of the 25 caliber wildcats of the 1920s and 1930s. I’d estimate it is probably in the 100 to 120 grain range. Because of the powders available in those days, velocities were not what you would expect from a case that size. Nowhere near 3500 fps. More than likely in the sub 3000 fps range. The “117” in the cartridge’s name was more than likely a 117 grain round nose or flat point design.

The popular 25 Roberts used a bullet weighing 100 grains with a round nose or open point and operated in the 2700 to 3000 fps range. Because of the available powders, Robert’s velocities were nearly equal to those that could be acheived in the 30-40 and/or '06 sized cases. And those were considered high velocities.

The hollow point bullet shown in my specimen of the 25 Niedner is a Western OPE and was a popular bullet in it’s day, capable of withstanding high velocities and with good terminal performance on big game animals. The OPE was Western’s premier hunting bullet competeing successfully with the patented protected point bullets of the other major manufacturers.

I agree that a “better choice of bullet” would have been preferred but those guys didn’t have the luxury. They shot what was available.

Ray